Gareth Bale selected for Wales despite injury ruling him out of Real Madrid action
Chris Coleman has called up the world's most expensive player
Thursday 03 October 2013
Manager Chris Coleman has explained his reasons for calling injured Gareth Bale into his Wales squad, despite confirmation the Real Madrid winger would play no part in next week's World Cup qualifiers against Macedonia and Belgium.
The 24-year-old has made just three appearances for the Spanish club since making his world-record move from Tottenham, and is currently sidelined by a thigh problem.
So there was some surprise when Bale's name appeared as part of a 23-man squad for Wales' final fixtures in Group A, in which they currently occupy bottom spot.
But Coleman subsequently revealed Bale was not fit to take part, and that he had been included in the vain hope he may have been in a position to be involved.
"He is named until we're told otherwise," said Coleman.
"But after naming the squad I was told he had a problem. It looks like he will possibly be out for two weeks.
"I found out yesterday for definite. I spoke to the doctor and he filled me in on he particulars. You always hope because sometimes you have a slight problem but we like to try and get him here to see how serious it is.
"This is more than a slight problem. He will be unavailable for at least the first week of training, so he has no chance of playing.
"I don't want to waste his time, Real Madrid's time, or our time.
"It is a massive blow, we didn't have him for the Republic of Ireland game, we only had him for half-an-hour against Serbia.
"A player of his talent would be a loss to anybody, especially to us, offensively he is the key that opens every door."
Real boss Carlo Ancelotti will surely be relieved to hear Coleman's words, having stated that his marquee signing needed to rest during the international break.
Ancelotti had told Real's official website: "We are not worried, he has not played because of muscle fatigue and it is nothing special.
"He is waiting to recover his optimal fitness. He was not at 100 per cent but he will get there because he has 15 days of rest and then will be ready.
"He is not happy and that is normal, he wants to play and is eager but it is not a problem. Now we have time to get him into a good physical condition and avoid injuries."
Coleman's captain Ashley Williams is also a fitness doubt due the ankle ligament injury which has kept him out of Swansea's recent run of fixtures.
But he is included, despite Swans' manager Michael Laudrup's pleas for him to be given the rest required to fully recover from his injury.
There is, however, no place for West Ham defender James Collins.
Coleman was critical of Collins after last month's defeat to Serbia, claiming he had turned down the chance to join up with the squad with Williams suspended and Sam Ricketts injured.
Collins insisted he would never turn his country down and that he had not received a message asking him to join up, but Coleman has clearly decided the player was in the wrong and has omitted him.
There is a welcome return for Liverpool midfielder Joe Allen, who missed September's defeats to Macedonia and Serbia through injury, but Crystal Palace midfielder Jonathan Williams is absent.
Craig Bellamy is included for what looks likely to be his final competitive games for the Dragons.
The Cardiff forward has made it clear he does not see himself taking part in the Euro 2016 qualifying campaign.
The upcoming double header will be crucial for Coleman after the criticism he came in for after back-to-back defeats last month, the nadir of which came when he lost his passport and missed Wales' final preparations before their 2-1 defeat in Skopje.
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